What steps are you taking internally to protect your employees?
The health, safety and job security of our employees is the number one priority of On. Our team was first impacted in January in China and we've rolled out work-from-home mandates around the world since. We have canceled all events until further notice and will not be doing in-person sell-in meetings.
How do you keep your internal teams connected and motivated?
We have rolled out many online initiatives internally suited to keep our teams connected and staying healthy in mind and body. We have a nice weekly offering of fitness classes that employees are encouraged to dial into in order to keep our very active team active. We are also doing several check-ins online to make sure that the mental state of the team is being taken care of. Keeping everyone healthy will guide every decision we make before we consider opening again.
What specific steps have you taken or plan to take to work with your retailers to help them through the Pandemic crisis?
On is helping our retailers to preserve their liquidity through flexible payment plans, revising product flow and enabling them to keep selling even when their stores are closed. In a situation where every pair of shoes sold counts, On has built a new digital retail network that allows doors across the world to still sell to their existing customers, but with the help of On's fulfillment centers.
How does that work?
Retailers can direct their customers to the On Webshop – using a store-specific affiliate link – and On credits the retailer the full margin on any products bought by their customers.
Isn’t that taking them out of their website and into yours?
We know it feels scary for retail partners to send customers to a brand website, so we've built the entire network behind a firewall and are not capturing any data for use in remarketing efforts. The retailer has full control over the sale and communication after the sale.
What message are you sending out to your run specialty retailers?
We’re in this together for the long run. You have helped build On into a strong company and in this time of crisis we are committed to giving back and supporting you — our partners.
Any other efforts underway at On that we should report?
We are enormously proud of On employee and athlete David Kilgore who took incredible initiative to support run specialty retailers and medical workers on the frontline in New York City. On March 27, David ran 100 miles to raise money that will be used to purchase gift cards from struggling New York City run specialty retailers. Those gift cards will then be donated to NYC Health + Hospitals to provide front line medical workers supportive footwear. Thanks to the power of the running community and the widespread media attention David received, what started as a $5000 goal on GoFundMe has now reached over $15,000. Huge thanks to David for his passion and dedication to this sport and this cause.
How about company-wide efforts?
We have a number of them to keep our employees connected to the industry and their communities. One is requiring all employees to spend a day volunteering in their communities once it's safe to do so. This is a collective — 4000 hours of paid time for our team around the world to give back. We are also offering footwear and apparel to healthcare workers on the frontlines. In total, we will help get shoes to over 50,000 people fighting the COVID battle in hospitals. And our production team in Vietnam has sent nearly 10,000 masks to our North American headquarters to distribute to those in need locally.